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A tragedy for democracy

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 Offwidth 02 Aug 2020
 neilh 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

And the Chinese state has already issue arrest warrants for activists  who have fled overseas. An unfolding tragedy..

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 Billhook 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

And what will our government do about it apart from a couple of minor sanctions - oh, and continue to plough in millions of pounds worth of aid to China?   

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 Dr.S at work 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Billhook:

I think they have offered a citizenship pathway to quite a lot of people. 
what action should the Government take?

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In reply to Offwidth:

China apparently sees HK as expendable in its current form. I spoke last week to a colleague who just turned down a university job there after multiple conversations and warnings from people who are leaving. Not a single positive voice apparently.

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In reply to Dr.S at work:

I think we should accept them. They would be a great credit to our society.

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In reply to Billhook:

> And what will our government do about it apart from a couple of minor sanctions - oh, and continue to plough in millions of pounds worth of aid to China?   

We haven't given aid to China for about a decade. We spend money in China promoting and protecting British interests, but it isn't aid. 

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 Lankyman 02 Aug 2020
In reply to John Stainforth:

> I think we should accept them. They would be a great credit to our society.


Given the hugely uncertain future we're facing the more of anyone's 'best and brightest' we can call on, the better.

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 Daniel Joder 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

Depending on how things go in my country (USA) over the next few months, you wouldn’t be willing to accept a few Yanks would you?

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 Dr.S at work 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Daniel Joder:

It must be bad your way!

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 fred99 02 Aug 2020
In reply to John Stainforth:

> I think we should accept them. They would be a great credit to our society.

Haven't you heard the result of the Brexit Referendum ??

"We" voted to keep all the nasty foreigners out, didn't "we".

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 fred99 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Daniel Joder:

> Depending on how things go in my country (USA) over the next few months, you wouldn’t be willing to accept a few Yanks would you?

Depends on the answer to the following question;

"Are you, or have you ever been, a member of the Republican Party ?"

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 Dom Connaway 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

Once you've made it from fire to frying pan...

Post edited at 20:03
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In reply to Daniel Joder:

Are you sure moving here would be wise- we are about 3 years  behind you! I'd suggest New Zealand.

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 Alyson30 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

As expected.

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 Billhook 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> I think they have offered a citizenship pathway to quite a lot of people. 

Yes, 3,000,000 I think. No doubt much to the displeasure of those who voted for Brexit on the grounds of too many immigra nts and/or uncontrolled imigration.

> what action should the Government take?

Stop feeding China with our cash - they don't need it!!!  Its the worlds biggest/fastest growing economy.  They must be laughing at us.

I'm not sure there is anything we can do - nothing we can do !  

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 Billhook 02 Aug 2020
In reply to The New NickB:

> We haven't given aid to China for about a decade. We spend money in China promoting and protecting British interests, but it isn't aid. 

Well that isn't what I read in the Telegraph.  But never mind.  OK we're spending money in China protecting British interests.  Millions?  It doesn't appear to be working for our interests then.  And certainly not for HK's interest, although we have offered 3,000,000 HK residents the chance to come here even though the country voted for Brexit, and much of that was due to uncontrolled immigration.

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In reply to Billhook:

The Telegraph is probably quoting a rather flakey Daily Mail article and Ian Duncan Smith, but take it from me it's not aid. How effective is the spend? Well that is a different question, it's also relatively speaking peanuts.

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 RentonCooke 00:08 Tue
In reply to Billhook:

> Yes, 3,000,000 I think. No doubt much to the displeasure of those who voted for Brexit on the grounds of too many immigra nts and/or uncontrolled imigration.

Most of the comments I've seen online from Brexiteers is they are more than happy for Hong Kong nationals to settle here. They are viewed as industrious, law-abiding, financially solvent, and as arriving ready to contribute financially from the get-go rather than potentially requiring recourse to public fund and resources.

The brexiteers you are referring to are likely few and far between and exist mostly as a figment of a smear campaign.

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 dgbryan 02:05 Tue
In reply to Offwidth:

9 a.m. (in HK) with shit to do, so limited time to waffle.

In internet discussions on this & related topics I often refer people to www.walterdehavilland.com

I don't always see eye-to-eye with Walter but his views are invariably based on verifiable facts & he is balanced.  You may find him worth a read.

Damian

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 Alyson30 06:30 Tue
In reply to RentonCooke:

> Most of the comments I've seen online from Brexiteers is they are more than happy for Hong Kong nationals to settle here. 

True. Take the example of Brexiteer MP Chris Clarkson, who was gloating at the end of FoM, claiming that “Immigration will be based on skills and contribution, not an arbitrary geographical preference.”

And then a few weeks later tweeted in reaction to the offer to BNP residents  “BNO Hong Kongers grew up in a British society with British values and ideals. They represent some of the most vibrant and dynamic aspects of our Global British identity. “

> They are viewed as industrious, law-abiding, financially solvent, and as arriving ready to contribute financially from the get-go rather than potentially requiring recourse to public fund and resources.

...Not unlike the vast majority of Europeans they slammed to door in the face to.

Why the blatant contradiction ? The above tweet hints at the answer : “they represent some of the most vibrant and dynamic aspects of our Global British identity. “
 

It’s all about identity and feeding the imperial nostalgia narrative. Also has the advantage to be consequence-free, as in practice, everybody knows that very few HK residents will want or be able to emigrate.

Post edited at 06:46
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 Alyson30 07:00 Tue
In reply to dgbryan:

Nice link thanks.

I completely agree with him, there are some huge double standards in our battle with China.

Take the example TikTok, accused of sharing user data with the Chinese government when it is a matter of public record that US and UK intelligence services are routinely accessing user data of Facebook or other with very little legal scrutiny or just illegally.


Or the new HK  national security law, which is actually not much different than the national security laws in U.K. and US.

Or the repression of protests in HK, possibly less violent than what we have seen in the US....

Post edited at 07:01
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 dread-i 09:18 Tue
In reply to RentonCooke:

> Most of the comments I've seen online from Brexiteers is they are more than happy for Hong Kong nationals to settle here. They are viewed as industrious, law-abiding, financially solvent, and as arriving ready to contribute financially from the get-go rather than potentially requiring recourse to public fund and resources.

Do brexiteers usually make sweeping generalizations, about large groups of people, based on stereo types? I find that hard to believe. Oh, wait...

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 Cobra_Head 11:54 Tue
In reply to RentonCooke:

> The brexiteers you are referring to are likely few and far between and exist mostly as a figment of a smear campaign.

Not the one's I've seen, the "White Lives  Matter", anti-Anyone who's not British born and bred, don't want them here.

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 RentonCooke 14:58 Tue
In reply to Alyson30:

> Why the blatant contradiction ? The above tweet hints at the answer : “they represent some of the most vibrant and dynamic aspects of our Global British identity. “

I think because the prime goal is simply greater control (as in an Australian model) over immigration. The Brexit goal is not to do with keeping Europeans out (or British in). Its to do with deciding under what conditions and in what sectors people are allowed in. In many ways it is a decidedly anti free-market viewpoint, of the kind that unions would typically celebrate, minimising over-supply didn't occur.

> It’s all about identity and feeding the imperial nostalgia narrative.

I don't think that is fair. Most countries don't operate under open-borders policies and Brexiteers simply want similar arrangements, hence the "take back control" narrative. However, controlling immigration can indeed be about retaining identity. That is normal though, from Brixton residents complain about 'gentrification' to rural folk getting pissed off with too many wealthy 'city-sorts' snatching up country homes to commute from.

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 RentonCooke 15:05 Tue
In reply to dread-i:

> Do brexiteers usually make sweeping generalizations, about large groups of people, based on stereo types? I find that hard to believe. Oh, wait...

Isn't that exactly what you are doing here? ;-)

The representation of Brexiteers I saw throughout the referendum process was very different from any Brexiteers I came in to contact with.

Sure, on the surface, and with a healthy dose of assumptions about their motives, it eas easy to suspect racist undertones in their electoral choice. But if you gave them the benefit of the doubt I seldom, if ever, found that actually to be the case. Though reading the popular press, and even when looking at the BBC, it was all bunting, 1950s England nostalgia, Spitfires and 'lets get those immigrants out!'. 

So its a shame to see that when the UK makes a decent offer to Hong Kong residents, people we have a long and close association with, the result is further condemnation of Brexiteers. That fundamentally misunderstands the intent of Brexit voters as I know them. Its very much the reason why Brexiteers continue to want Brexit also.

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 RentonCooke 15:08 Tue
In reply to Cobra_Head:

> Not the one's I've seen, the "White Lives  Matter", anti-Anyone who's not British born and bred, don't want them here.

They're probably about as common as football hooligans at Arsenal matches. They're the visible minority. The majority though? Remember, it is essentially Brexit parties who are proposing the support for Hong Kong. While Tories may be reluctant to criticise China for economic reasons, I would imagine Corbyn would be extra reluctant to do so for ideological reasons. 

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 Cobra_Head 15:53 Tue
In reply to RentonCooke:

> , I would imagine Corbyn would be extra reluctant to do so for ideological reasons. 

"Imagine" being the operative word.

As for not being common, I can only go by what I see on social media, there are a lot of people from my home town who voted for Brexit, they almost all, don't agree with Black Lives Matter, I doubt they'd welcome any foreigners going bu most of their posts.

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 Alyson30 16:02 Tue
In reply to RentonCooke:

> I think because the prime goal is simply greater control (as in an Australian model) over immigration. The Brexit goal is not to do with keeping Europeans out (or British in). Its to do with deciding under what conditions and in what sectors people are allowed in. In many ways it is a decidedly anti free-market viewpoint, of the kind that unions would typically celebrate, minimising over-supply didn't occur.

If that is the case that this was all about control then this is incompatible with the idea of giving an open immigration route to BNO HK citizens.

It is not and anti free market viewpoint, it is an identitarian viewpoint. It is fine BTW, it is perfectly valid, what is unsupportable is to pretend it isn't by hiding behind bogus arguments.

> I don't think that is fair. Most countries don't operate under open-borders policies and Brexiteers simply want similar arrangements, hence the "take back control" narrative. 

They always had control they just decided to use that control to shut the door to Europeans (except the Irish) and open it to HK BNO holders. And those decision are clearly not driven by pragmatic economic need, they are driven by politics, in particular, nationalist identity politics.

Post edited at 16:08
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 Alyson30 16:13 Tue
In reply to RentonCooke:

> So its a shame to see that when the UK makes a decent offer to Hong Kong residents, people we have a long and close association with, the result is further condemnation of Brexiteers.

Simply because they claimed their reason for ending FoM was to make immigration "fair"  and put all immigrants on a same level playing field, and control the volume and quality of immigration, but this has turned out to be a complete lie.

Post edited at 16:28
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 dread-i 20:53 Tue
In reply to RentonCooke:

> Sure, on the surface, and with a healthy dose of assumptions about their motives, it eas easy to suspect racist undertones in their electoral choice. But if you gave them the benefit of the doubt I seldom, if ever, found that actually to be the case. Though reading the popular press, and even when looking at the BBC, it was all bunting, 1950s England nostalgia, Spitfires and 'lets get those immigrants out!'. 

I spoke and argued with many, many brexiteers. The one thing they had in common, was that they had nothing in common. All of them were arguing for different things, all of which could be solved, if only we got out. There was some sort of vague sense that it would be quick and easy, then the cash would start rolling in. To be fair to them, I didn't meet any out and out racists.

There were some despicable shows of racism, from ukip, which clearly resonated with some. I don't remember the offer to HK residents being a talking point, though.

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/a66ce3e8cf251f187316db1f497bb62798ea6b4c/565_148_2184_1310/master/2184.jpg?width=1920&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=7c242b210a384c6373b979363e61ecf6

> So its a shame to see that when the UK makes a decent offer to Hong Kong residents, people we have a long and close association with, the result is further condemnation of Brexiteers. That fundamentally misunderstands the intent of Brexit voters as I know them. Its very much the reason why Brexiteers continue to want Brexit also.

It is a genuinely decent offer. To people with no other connection to the UK than their residency at a particular location. Whereas people who have actively made a contribution to the UK for decades are not extended the same offer. Or in some cases, Windrush for example, are actively discriminated against.

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 alx 21:01 Tue
In reply to The New NickB:

Are you referring to ODA, Global Health, Global Challenge Research Funding, or Newton Funding being part of a soft/smart power strategy, as opposed to aid.

As far as I’m aware China hates to be seen to be receiving aid as they consider themselves to be developed so it’s respun in different ways?

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 neilh 10:36 Wed
In reply to alx:

Fascinating. Do you know how much we are talking about.

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 RentonCooke 14:46 Wed
In reply to dread-i:

> It is a genuinely decent offer. To people with no other connection to the UK than their residency at a particular location. Whereas people who have actively made a contribution to the UK for decades are not extended the same offer. Or in some cases, Windrush for example, are actively discriminated against.

I'd argue Hong Kong has a very strong connection with the UK. Even more than Shanghai, the remnants of British influence are palpable and culturally Hong Kong is very different to the mainland. HK protestors waving Union Jacks and Stars and Stripes is indicative of how strongly they recognise what they are at risk of losing and their viewpoints towards the relative benefits of the British state. 

Windrush on the other hand was largely paperwork issue. At a time when concerns about illegal immigration are rife, being without a passport, visa or naturalisation certificate, unfortunately leaves you open to suspicion. You might call that active discrimination, though it probably only looks that way because we don't have mandatory ID cards (unlike much of Europe). The HK citizens would instead be very well documented (and no doubt subject to some extremely strict immigration requirements) so really aren't in the same situation.

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 Alyson30 15:00 Wed
In reply to RentonCooke:

> I'd argue Hong Kong has a very strong connection with the UK.

True, but plenty of other countries have very strong connection to the UK and share in fact a vastly more similar culture and yet we still don’t give them any automatic right to come to the U.K.

Post edited at 15:03
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In reply to RentonCooke:

Windrush wasn't a paperwork issue, it was a not fcuking caring issue.

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 Alyson30 15:05 Wed
In reply to The New NickB:

> Windrush wasn't a paperwork issue, it was a not fcuking caring issue.

Indeed. BTW we are due for a massive repeat of the situation given that the government has categorically refused to issue physical documentation to the 3m of EU citizens living in the U.K.

We know that this will leave then at high risk of discrimination in the hostile environment and completely at the mercy of data misuse and loss.

(note that the data held for immigration purposes, which is critical to ascertain the immigration status of individuals,  isn’t covered by GDPR - in breach of EU law may I add)

Post edited at 15:09
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 dread-i 16:22 Wed
In reply to Alyson30:

>(note that the data held for immigration purposes, which is critical to ascertain the immigration status of individuals,  isn’t covered by GDPR - in breach of EU law may I add)

Being a big fan of GDPR, I looked that up. The answer is slightly more nuanced than you suggest. The fact that the ICO is involved is a good thing. The Home Office has to try harder, to justify not providing the data.

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/exemptions/immigration-exemption/

TL;DR

If they think you have done something wrong, they can withhold data. Which is the same for any member state. You can't ask the police if they are investigating you and for any data related to the investigation, for example.

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 Alyson30 05:37 Thu
In reply to dread-i:

And the reality in practice is that they invoked the exemption in the majority of cases in the very first year. The condition for exemption are so broad and vague that it is basically “use at will”.

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